Inspirational Interviews – Summary of 2014 – Kestrel Coaching


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A big Thank You to all my interview subjects this year.

A wonderful group of inspirational, practical people.


Caroline Meehan – Heartfelt Homes


Remy Tancred – Sample Food Festival and Magazine


David Russell – V8 Supercar Driver

David talks also of Personal Branding


Brett Lacey – House with No Steps

Brett talk about Business options including HWNS staff


David Zeck – Wirrimbi Milling

Greig Shanley – Fundies Wholefood Markets


Les McGuire – Fairfulls Financial Planning

– See more at:—Inspirational-Northern-Rivers-People-39#sthash.Tt4N0T41.dpuf


How to use Mind Maps for organising and prioritising your work.


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A Beginners Guide.

A Mind Map is a very effective tool for cleaning out an overloaded head.
It also provides creative solutions.
The concept is to allow stream of conscious thought to flow from your thoughts to paper. When we write a list we tend to do it logically, in order, suppressing thoughts that wish to queue jump. This organising action imposes a structure when a more chaotic approach is more effective.
See the Mind Map I drew in preparation for this post.
I started from the central idea and then just drew what was trying to get out next. They haven’t come out in priority order and are very messy, with duplications and disjointed patterns, but the thoughts are out on paper. There is stuff I won’t use and I’ll need to shuffle it around.

hand drawn

This is the most creative way to Mind Map – use colours and drawings. You can see I’m no artist, what it looks like is of little importance.
An alternative is to use Mind Map software.

This is the info produced from my hand drawn Mind Map onto software called Mindview5. It is easy to move ideas around and put them in the order you want. This makes sense to make sense of the map but also is fantastic if you buy a version of software that export to a Word or similar doc.

How cool is that!
You now have a document that you can build and expand for your planning. Brilliant!
Yes – unfortunately I said buy……
According to, the best free Mind Map software is COGGLE and it certainly looks great, with lots of tools and very easy to use. Although you can save to a PDF, you are unable to export to Word.
To do that my recommended option is Xmind 6 Plus. At $80US it pays for itself after one strategy session.
(They do have a free version without this feature, which I loved and have used before upgrading.) also recommends MindNode for your iPad, a most creative platform to Mind Map with.
So there you have it.
I would be lost in my Mentoring practice without Mind Mapping and the skills the process teaches you, particularly with my more creatively thinking clients.

– See more at:

Whips and Tomatoes – Two more tips to get that Plan started


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Have you downloaded my “How to Plan Your Way Forward. The Six Steps.” ?
Lots of people have found it very useful. Subscribe above get your free copy.

Two Tips to Put your plan in Place.

  • Firstly, build your self discipline

It is very easy to get into bad habits. Don’t beat yourself up but gradually replace them with good ones.

Try planning your next day’s work the afternoon before. This will mean you get a good night’s sleep, and you will hit the ground with purpose right after breakfast.

Be Selective. Priorities your tasks and identify three main things to be completed that day. Act on the hardest or most important first. The mornings are usually the time you will be at your sharpest and most creative.

Work on tasks that will get you toward your goals – be they small or large.

Focus on one task at a time, Pay each task the attention it deserves and don’t flit from one to another.

  • Try the Pomodoro Technique.

I find this Time Management tool is far more effective than it’s simple approach would lead you to imagine. The theory is to break your tasks into 20 minute segments and have a short 3 min break in between. It was developed by then student, Francisco Cirillo in the 1980s and named after the Pomodoro (tomato) shaped kitchen timer he used.
A number of things happen.
Twenty minutes is not overwhelming – even on tough tasks
Your thoughts stay fresh and recharged.
Stretch the body and have a drink of water during the three minute break to refresh and recharge the body as well.
Some suggest a longer break after 4 “Tomatoes”. I found this larger break was best used for me as a reward after a completion of a task. I could have a wander and think subconsciously about the next task to follow.
Use this free online timer – I works great – I promise!

How to Plan Your Way Forward – The Six Steps [Free Whitepaper]


Kestrel Mentoring clients come from a wildly diverse small business base.
I support a huge variety of people. From masseuse to heavy machinery, from Start Up to established entrepreneur, from businesses with procedural characteristics to those creative ones – and I have discovered that when they first seek me out, they all have one common PAIN.
They all want to know;
Where do I go from Here?
Although “Here” is rarely the same spot for each of them they need to find their way forward.
There are many reasons for the Business stagnation;
Outright overwhelm, stress
Staff Issues
Lack of a specific skill set
Lack of productivity, motivation, enthusiasm or confidence.
Money or other resource restraints
Loss of Passion
The business is running on the spot, just waiting to be pointed in a direction.
A business standing still is being overtaken by the market.
Can you afford to be still for long?
Would a clear Focus help you?
Would developing a strategy take the pressure off?
Subscribe here to receive this free whitepaper –
How to Plan Your Way Forward – The Six Steps.

#Stress #productivity #smallbusiness #Staffissues #Motivation #enthusiasm #Focus #Strategy #Passion #overwhelm #confidence

Heartfelt Homes. Families Faced with the Unforeseen

Heartfelt Homes is a Registered Charity that provides accommodation in emergency medical situations.

Caroline Meehan is an amazing woman who is challenged by lots of the same issues as small business owners.

As a start up – (Heartfelt Homes has just had it’s first Birthday) Caroline has Cash Flow issues. With her product being an expense not an income, she must rely on fundraising and donations to keep the wheels turning. She has had to forget her ego and just get out there and sell her service.

She had had to learn to sell, to market, to handle her own Social Media, to handle lots and lots of administration. Web site, emails, functions, Networking, Press Releases.

…and then her own husband come down with Thyroid Cancer.  Caroline and Andy and their two young children ironically faced the very issues Heartfelt Homes addresses. Keeping families together at times when they need to be together.

Caroline works hard. She feels the pain of the beneficiaries of her service.

Listen to her story.

Visit the page of Heartfelt Homes and do what you can to help.

Do you know anyone in the Hospitality Industry who may be able to help?


Does your perception match the reality of the abilities of disability organisations? Brett Lacey – House With No Steps

In this video, I speak with Brett Lacey, the Executive General Manager Businesses for House with No Steps. HWNS employs over 500 people with disabilities.

Brett believes we need to ” Raise the level of appreciation of what is possible and what the capabilities are.”

House with No Steps employees provide quality products at competitive prices. You may very well have used some of their products today.

  • They produce biscuits from their own factory
  • They grow Avocados,Tomatoes and Macadamia nuts
  • They pack Nectarines,Peaches and Custard Apples
  • They pack Medical kits for Hospital Surgeries, Maternity Wards and for Dialysis
  • Police DNA and Forensic kits
  • Ambulance kits
  • Maintenance crews for shopping Malls and Airports
  • A commercial Laundry catering to the hospitality industry
  • an Engineering plant
  • a recycling facility

Does your perception match the reality of the abilities of disability organisations?

“Take them down Passion Boulevard or get them off of Pain Street.”


One of my favourite Bloggers and online marketers is Barry Feldman from Feldman Creative.

He is one who provides original, thought provoking content. One I haven’t unsubscribed from.

In this pod cast with Pamela Muldoon from Next Stop Media Group, Barry speaks of his forthcoming book “Kiss my Glass” where he explains the relationship between on-line prospects and marketers. The “Kiss” is the intimacy developed and the glass is the chosen media of the recipient.

The phone, the tablet, the PC – the time, the place.

“If you’re going to turn somebody on, you have to take them down Passion Boulevard or get them off of Pain Street.” (Paraphrasing Tony Robbins)

The pod cast is an hour long and the link to the transcript and the pod cast  are at the bottom of this post.

Here are some of the other points that resonated with me;

  • “..having that traditional marketing background I think lends itself to an interesting mix with clients as you approach them”. P.M.
  • “the customer has seized control of the brand” B.F.
  • “Thinking’s easy and writing’s the hard part of thinking.””Ultimately, the best expression of your mind is going to be the things that you write.” B.F.
  • I’ve had lots of mentors over the years, and I still have a handful of people that I trust to give me their opinion and have that be an honest opinion when I have an idea. Particularly if I think it’s sort of risky or out there or unusual. And so I think aligning yourself with somebody can help. B.F.
  • “ comes down to the comfort level, or the comfort zone. You buy things from people you feel comfortable with. And you don’t buy things from people you don’t feel comfortable with.” B.F.
  • “people do not remember what you wrote, largely speaking. Nor do they remember what you said. They remember how you made them feel.” B.F.
  • “What does that mean to get integrated into the passionate conversation when you’re also looking to engage with your audience?” P.M.
  • “Tell me about you the person.”B.F.
  • “I want you to open your ears to me and that’s not going to happen, and there’s no chance of making it happen unless I’m sensitive to what keeps you up at night, and what are your problems and what are your pleasures.”B.F.
  • “ the work. Put the hours in.”P.M.

To listen to the pod cast and view the transcript;

Connect through your prospect’s “Glass”.

Take them down Passion Boulevard or get them off Pain Street.


Remy Tancred – Preparing for change and the Woman Entrepreneur


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Hi, Alan Glasby from Kestrel Business Assist here speaking (in a very busy Coffee shop!) to Remy Tancred, the incredibly hard working entrepreneurial owner of Sample Magazine and Sample Food Festival.

Remy’s message to us is to:
“Plan – but be prepared for change. Remodel along the way.”

Have a clear idea of where you want to be, but not necessarily how you are going to get there. Take the opportunities that present themselves – but only if they fit your core values and propel you towards that goal.

Remy’s Northern Rivers Journey began with the Community news magazine “Lennox Wave”.

Listening to her market and applying the internet trend that the consumer want to research, Remy moved her focus to Food of the Northern Rivers, creating “Sample” magazine. A high quality publication, “Sample” championed the region’s growers and farmers.

Sample Food Festival grew from there, and is now outgrowing its home.

Somewhere along the way Remy found the time to be involved in the production of “Ate Phat Ducks” Eight ordinary women visit 30 extraordinary restaurants.

What’s next for Remy?
Well, the day after this interview she was organising “Biggest Morning Tea” charity event at Cape Byron Lighthouse, then off to Melbourne for another trade show, peddling the Sample barrow.

Who knows what will follow; but you can be guaranteed that Remy will be following her passion.


Beat the weeds – 5 tips to Sell Sustainability Wirrimbi Milling

David Zeck talks to me about his Business Wirrimbi Milling. This wonderfully sustainable business takes waste shell, broken, and out of specification Macadamia nuts and turns them into quality protein and Fibre stock feed. They don’t go into land fill, they don’t get burned. Here are David’s 5 tips to turn your idea to save the planet into a business.

1. Take a punt on your idea
2. Visualise what you want to happen
3. Be aware that you need to market your product. Your client won’t automatically come to you.
4. Beat the weeds – Beat the weeds.
5. Make it simple for your stakeholders.

Be tenacious, you will have your “Naysayers”. Persevere and be persistent.

Lest We Forget – Respect


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This street art symbolises for me our newly found confidence to separate the ability to pay tribute and commemorate with the highest respect those who fought for their principles – yet maintain our abhorrence for War.